Marvel running for Southampton County sheriff

Published 3:20 pm Monday, May 16, 2011

COURTLAND—A Franklin police officer has thrown in his hat for Southampton County sheriff.

Brian Marvel, who has 11 years law enforcement experience, on Friday filed his petition with the county voter registration office. Marvel will run as an independent, which means his name will not appear on the ballot for the Aug. 23 primary, but will for the Nov. 8 general election, said county Registrar Leona Davis.

Marvel is the second to announce a bid for the four-year term, which pays $85,000 annually. Jack Stutts, the chief deputy for Southampton County Sheriff’s Office, on April 11 announced he would run for the job as a Democrat. That was three days after Sheriff Vernie Francis Jr. indicated he would not seek an eighth term.

Stutts as of Monday had not filed his petition, Davis said. Candidates running in a party must file by June 15 for the primary. Independent candidates must file by Aug. 23.

A Drewryville resident, Marvel worked for the Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office for six years, leaving as a sergeant before going to Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office for three years. The 37-year-old joined the Franklin force two years ago.

“Running for sheriff is one of those goals I’ve wanted since I was 24 or 25 years old,” Marvel said. “I’ve seen a lot in sheriffs’ departments.”

If elected, he said he would provide county jail officers with more training and not require deputies to work multiple weekends so they can spend more time with family.

He’d also like to get rid of the “good ole boys system,” which he said is not only present in Southampton County, but everywhere.

“It’s going to stop,” Marvel said. “Everyone will be treated fairly.”

He will fund his own campaign.

“I know the economy is tight,” Marvel said. “I’m not asking one single person for a penny out of their pocket. All I’m asking for is their vote on election day.”

His wife, Samantha, is an animal control officer with Isle of Wight County. Marvel is the father of Zackery, 16; Logan, 8; and Tristan, 4; and stepfather to Dakota Clark, 10.